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Engineer faces 2-year suspension following Bronx building collapse

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In response to a structural failure that led to a partial collapse of a building in the Bronx last year, city officials have announced a two-year suspension of an engineer’s inspection authority. The decision, unveiled on Thursday, comes after an investigation revealed misdiagnosis of a structural column by the engineer, Richard Koenigsberg, as stated by Mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Buildings.

As part of the agreement reached between Koenigsberg and the city, he will be prohibited from conducting inspections on building facades throughout the duration of his suspension. Additionally, Koenigsberg is mandated to pay a fine of $10,000, according to the official release.

Emphasizing the paramount importance of public safety, Mayor Adams underscored the significance of upholding professional standards in construction endeavors. He stated, “Public safety is our administration’s top priority, and the signing of today’s agreement should serve as a reminder to all construction professionals about the importance of carrying out their duties professionally, competently, and, most importantly, safely.”

The incident occurred on December 11, resulting in minor injuries to two individuals, fortunately avoiding any serious casualties. Following the collapse, the Department of Buildings promptly suspended Koenigsberg’s inspection authority, citing the misidentification of a structural column as decorative in plans submitted to the agency in June of the previous year.

Koenigsberg had been contracted to oversee facade inspections and repairs at the site prior to the collapse, officials disclosed. The agreement reached allows Koenigsberg to conclude his business operations over a four-month period, during which he may fulfill obligations for ongoing projects related to Local Law 11 facade safety inspections.

However, inspection reports for active projects will undergo rigorous evaluation, including peer review by a third-party engineering firm and enhanced scrutiny by senior Department of Buildings engineers, as stipulated in the agreement. The collapse remains subject to investigation by the Department of Buildings, the city’s Department of Investigation, and the Bronx district attorney’s office, according to the official release.

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